Document Type



Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Adviser

Neti, Sudhakar


With the advent of nanotechnology, many fields of Engineering and Science took a leap to the next level of advancements. The broad scope of nanotechnology initiated many studies of heat transfer and thermal engineering. Nano-fluids are one such technology and can be thought of as engineered colloidal fluids with nano-sized colloidal particles. There are different types of nano-fluids based on the colloidal particle and base fluids. Nano-fluids can primarily be categorized into metallic, ceramics, oxide, magnetic and carbon based. The present work is a part of investigation of the thermal and rheological properties of ceramic based nano-fluids. α-Silicon Carbide based nano-fluid with Ethylene Glycol and water mixture 50-50% volume concentration was used as the base fluid here. This work is divided into three parts; Theoretical modelling of effective thermal conductivity (ETC) of colloidal fluids, study of Thermal and Rheological properties of α-SiC nano-fluids, and determining the Heat Transfer properties of α-SiC nano-fluids.In the first part of this work, a theoretical model for effective thermal conductivity (ETC) of static based colloidal fluids was formulated based on the particle size, shape (spherical), thermal conductivity of base fluid and that of the colloidal particle, along with the particle distribution pattern in the fluid. A MATLAB program is generated to calculate the details of this model. The model is specifically derived for least and maximum ETC enhancement possible and thereby the lower and upper bounds was determined. In addition, ETC is also calculated for uniform colloidal distribution pattern. Effect of volume concentration on ETC was studied. No effect of particle size was observed for particle sizes below a certain value. Results of this model were compared with Wiener bounds and Hashin- Shtrikman bounds.The second part of this work is a study of thermal and rheological properties of α-Silicon Carbide based nano-fluids. The nano-fluid properties were tested at three different volume concentrations; 0.55%, 1% and 1.6%. Thermal conductivity was measured for the three-volume concentration as function of temperature. Thermal conductivity enhancement increased with the temperature and may be attributed to increased Brownian motion of colloidal particles at higher temperatures. Measured thermal conductivity values are compared with results obtained by theoretical model derived in this work. Effect of temperature and volume concentration on viscosity was also measured and reported. Viscosity increase and related consequences are important issues for the use of nano-fluids. Extensive measurements of heat transfer and pressure drop for forced convection in circular pipes with nano-fluids was also conducted. Parameters such as heat transfer coefficient, Nusselt number, pressure drop and a thermal hydraulic performance factor that takes into account the gains made by increase in thermal conductivity as well as penalties related to increase in pressure drop are evaluated for laminar and transition flow regimes. No significant improvement in heat transfer (Nusselt number) compared to its based fluid was observed. It is also observed that the values evaluated for the thermal-hydraulic performance factor (change in heat transfer/change in pressure drop) was under unity for many flow conditions indicating poor overall applicability of SiC based nano-fluids.